|First job as a bagger, the smell of this place still makes me gag a little and they all smell the same.|
Ah WORK. Some of us take pride in it, some of us avoid it at all costs, for some of us it is the base of our identity, and for most of us I imagine it is a combination of those feelings and many more. It's where on average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics we spend 8 hours of our day. What are you doing with that time and bonds formed with work? I have a very tight crew of friends who while I adored them before we even started working together, the ups and downs of our work place has sealed us in a different and special way for life. They forever will be family to me and my soul aches for them in an inexplicable way. And then there are those times you work with friends and maybe your respect for them drops a little because their work ethic sucks and they would let it affect their co-workers/friends with such ease you wondered if they truly contained any sort of consciousness.
As a worker my favorite hang outs were restaurants, where your co workers smoke pot in the walk-in coolers and you can somehow get away with being a little drunk. Sometimes working a kitchen on a slow night with no orders coming in was so boring that you thought you could simply die but I miss the conversations with my co-workers and interactions with customers. Grocery store jobs come in a close second where you could inevitably get away with chilling behind the dumpster or storage room or in yet another walk-in. I also have a slight obsession with aisles of food. Not the actual consumption of food but rather the many types of food and how to present them. One of my favorite places to work was at Sevananda Natural Foods Coop when I lived in Atlanta. I ran the supplements and herbs section and really loved stocking the herb jars because you had a chance to interact with the herb, smelling its freshness and medicinal qualities. There are other grocery store nerds out there like me. We meet in private.
|One of my favorite tasks at one of my favorite jobs, stocking bulk herbs.|
I just counted to myself how many jobs I have had in my life and surprisingly could only think of 13. I only say surprisingly because I have tallied up my life before and in total I have lived in 7 towns, 16 different houses and have had 57 roommates, so 13 jobs seems low. But of course none of these numbers are counting randomness in between, life white noise. At some point in my late 20's I had somehow decided I never wanted to see another human so chose a profession that affords little human contact at times. Turns out that I was wrong. Office life is draining and isolating despite the challenge and mental stimulation of my work tasks. I have been working alone for the last eight months. Just this second I said so long to a comrade from the office next door. We literally became friends by the water cooler and our mutual dry humor has been getting us by these last months. He has unexpectedly decided (the best kind of decisions) to break free and go traveling. Sad to see him go, we exchanged contact information, high fived each other and hope to see each other soon. Here's three cheers for hanging out in the space that consumes most of your adult life- the work hang out.
Thanks to Olivia for reminding me of the work hang out- where we hung out together as Research Assistants in the bowels of Columbia University.